Pomp & Circumstances

Things never really go as planned, do they?

We’d scheduled a farewell event at our favorite local pub on Sunday. It was to be a casual, low-key affair, an opportunity for friends to drop by at their convenience and see us before we leave. Despite months of planning, it never happened; instead, we spent a good part of the day at an emergency veterinarian clinic. Which, trust me, was about a thousand times less fun than hanging out at Shanahan’s and eating fried pickles would have been.

The issue? Sydney had been vomiting for a few days. Add in a lack of appetite, lethargy, and anti-social behavior (normal in most cats but not her), and we knew something was wrong. So we took her in and after waiting many hours, they were able to see her and run some tests. Which came back inconclusive; her vitals were normal and there wasn’t anything obviously wrong. They suggested admitting her to the hospital and running an ultrasound, or giving us some anti-nausea meds and hoping for improvement in 24-48 hours. We chose Option B because yesterday alone set us back $800 – money that we were counting on for our move. I don’t know that we can swing anything more. Which makes the whole thing a bit stressful, with our move happening at the end of next week. Poor Sydney. It’s breaking our hearts to see her this way. And she just got a clean bill of health less than two weeks ago, so the whole thing really came out of the blue.

By the time we finally got home it was late in the afternoon, so we just hung around the apartment with Tara’s friend Betsy, who is visiting from Las Vegas. We listened to records and I made a pot of Italian wedding soup, the perfect antidote for a surprisingly cold and wet June weekend. After two extremely dry and warm months, it just figures that the one weekend we had a lot going on, the weather gods refused to cooperate. Looking ahead to late next week, they are predicting very hot weather the day we load the U-Haul, so that’s going to be fun.

At least Saturday worked out a little better. Audrey’s graduation went off without a hitch, crazy weather notwithstanding. There were torrential downpours during the ceremony, and even a little hail and thunder. But that didn’t stop her from beaming with pride when she accepted her diploma.


Because Audrey was senior class treasurer, her name was the fourth one called. This was great – no waiting through an endless parade of names to reach hers (letter P). To be honest, we left right afterwards. But the place was so crowded we were in the very back at the top of the bleachers, standing. Fortunately, it was covered by a roof, but still. Why stick around after seeing what we came for? Instead, we went to Gustav’s and enjoyed a cocktail and some fondue. My parents, Audrey and her girlfriend, and Rusty joined us for dinner and a photo session afterwards. I think Tara did a great job, especially this one!


And just like that, I have no kids in school anymore.

Back in 2006, when I got divorced, I knew I’d be bound to Vancouver, Washington, for the next 12 years, unable to move because of our shared custody arrangement. At the time I imagined that move would entail crossing the river to Portland, not uprooting my life for the Midwest. Ahh, life. It’s like I wrote in my opening paragraph.

In any case, it’s very hard to believe a dozen years have passed. And with that passage of time, I am now a father to two grown adults. I don’t know how to feel about that. There are moments of nostalgia, of course. Occasional despair over the idea of growing older. But also excitement. The future has never felt so wide open.

Countdown: 11 Days


5 thoughts on “Pomp & Circumstances

  1. Mark, animals (especially cats) are very sensitive, so perhaps she’s nerviously reacting a bit to sensing the “move” getting close. My cat Jerry kind of reacted the same way when I moved from Florida to Philly.

    “Things never really go as planned, do they?”

    You said it, man. Funny you mentioned that because I’m getting ready to share a post about that exact topic.

    Soooooooooo happy to hear that Audrey’s graduation went well.

    *cheers and applause*

    Love the photo of her walking across the track after receiving here dilploma. And GREAT family photo too!

    “But also excitement. The future has never felt so wide open.”

    Isn’t that awesome? That’s how I feel about my move as well. However, I do understand your feelings of nostalgia because I get those feelings as well. And I think it’s because as one experience ends, another one begins. And it feels nostalgia as we let go.


  2. After another vet appointment yesterday, they are convinced it’s the stress of the move. Cats are very intuitive about these things and any disruption to their routine is stressful. But we really need her to start eating…

    Looking forward to reading your post, buddy! Isn’t it funny how you and I are very often on the same page?


  3. I was thinking a delayed reaction to the drug you tried out on her? It’s sad that she’s stressed about the move🙁

    Great grad photos. My kids’ high school graduations were in the playhouse square district in a fancy theatre downtown. There was no option of leaving. They were brutal, but at least in air conditioning!


    1. The vet said the Gabapentin we gave her is an extremely safe drug and any side effects would have occurred within 24 hours. Sydney’s symptoms didn’t show up for five days, so no such luck there. I think she’s just old and set in her ways, unfortunately.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s